The Mah Jongg sets I collect are vintage sets, with some being perilously close to reaching 100 years old. However, there are a couple of new sets that I have not been able to resist, particularly the one that is a souvenir game from the Project Mah Jongg exhibition. BTW, if you would like a smile to come to your lips, listen to this brief recording (it takes a moment to load – be patient) and then read this article about the exhibition from the New York Times written in March, 2010.
A few months ago I purchased this unusual set and am still at a loss at trying to identify it. Perhaps someone out there reading this blog will be able to help…It seems to be very similar in composition to the Portland Billiard Ball Company set that was featured on this blog last month. The tiles are blocks of what I suspect is bamboo with thin pieces of colorful plastic/celluloid glued or somehow affixed to the wood.
The Bams and the Dots are easily identifiable – although I suspect I may have displayed the Bams upside down!
But it is the Craks that has thrown me way off…Here are two rows of the Craks (1 – 9) and, as you will see, the symbols in the first row are quite different from the symbols in the second row.
Take a closer look at this row of Two Craks:
Each Two Crak is unique. Have you seen this before?
The Flowers are quite beautiful:
And the depiction of the Winds is lovely (although possibly upside down again!). Unfortunately, the set is missing the four West Winds.
Both the One Bams (missing two) and the Dragons (missing two Red Dragons and one Green Dragon) show different images. BTW, if anyone can supply the missing tiles, please contact me.
So, what do you think? I appeal to you to help explain what this unusual set is all about. I look forward to hearing some opinions from you and I will publish them in an upcoming post which happily will be called, “Mystery Solved!”
Look at this magnificent set, courtesy of the Mah Jong Museum (owned and operated by the website, Where the Winds Blow and founded by the wonderful Jim May), made and carved in China probably in the early 1920s. The tiles are made of bone and then backed with ebony wood. I love this set not only for its beauty and craftsmanship but also because the tiles represent such incredible sentiments and meanings – you can read the translations for the tiles’ ideographs on the museum’s website.
My favorite translation encompasses the entire set, based on the Buddhist tale, “Heaven girls playing with flowers.” I love this set because of the kind, generous, and happy meanings of the tiles but especially for the magnificent and intricate Flowers. Beautiful carvings filled with beautiful thoughts to take with us into the new year.
Wouldn’t it be a treat to play Mah Jongg with this set? To see other beautiful and rare sets, go to the website for the Mah Jong Museum and have a great time!
Santa stopped by early today and I am afraid that I have no willpower. I opened all the gifts – and there were so many! – and each one brought a greater delight to me than the one before. Not surprising, Santa knows that I like things having to do with Mah Jongg and so several of the gifts followed that theme. The first was a beautiful decoupaged dish from cccreations – decoupage under glass by Carol Cohen.
Isn’t this fabulous?! I can’t decide where to put it – either on the coffee table in the living room or else on my dresser in the bedroom and put jewelry, coins, etc. in it. Such decisions to make! Continue reading